"All fighters report to Flight leaders. Leaders, keep me posted." Immediately, his three wing mates reported in. Thirty seconds later, Two Flight reported in.
"Two Flight reporting four craft at 100%."
"Copy Zeal. Three Flight, you full?"
"We're fine, though Twelve is reporting a slight engine flutter."
Bring up diagnostics on the ship in question, he checked the problem then gave a response, "Have him hang back then, and wait till he's got the problem fixed. All right, listen up folks. No one takes any unnecessary risks. Flight One provides air cover where needed, and if you get a shot at some of the Flash's drop ships take it. Flights Two and Three, your main objective is to keep us from having too many problems. Take out the drop ships in orbit, but stay away from any cruiser support they might have. Snubfighters will take on smaller ships, larger fighters concentrate on anything you can reasonably handle. Remember folks, we're on flight number basis. No names. Good luck and Godspeed."
So inspiring Gasper. Too bad you haven't encrypted your communications as well as you wished. Steve felt the presence in his mind, and answered it.
Repike, I'm putting a torp up your ass when I get the chance.
Oh please feel free to try, the voice replied, I can't wait to send it back, and kill your friends.
Gasper looked at his scanners, and saw the first wave of drop ships with no fighter escort lift off from the tarmac.
Traffic bustled in New York City. Carl Dayspring noted that once again for the tenth time this month. Walking out of the 43rd Street Java Jake coffee shop, he made his way down the street to Tymark Industries when he noticed the screams in the street. People went running past as he watched first one, then five, then fifty armored men walking down the middle of the street. To the right, a woman screamed as she was beaten down for resisting them. To his left a man was shot in the chest, making a large hole in his torso. Carl threw his coffee down and ran, ducking into a nearby vestibule of a major corporate entity. Continuing further inside because of the pushing and shoving, he was able to dive out of the way. Pulling a small cell phone out he dialed in a few numbers, and then pressed the send button.
"Call in the troops! New York is under attack!" Pressing End, he pulled out a slim laser pistol, and then pressed a button on his watch. Armor began to enshroud his arm, then across and down his chest and over to the other arm. The soldiers began to enter the building, and Carl readied himself. Jumping out, he immediately sprayed the contingent with fire. Superheated light burned holes through the thickly armored soldier, claiming their lives in seconds. Seared metal and flesh filled the air, as Carl charged his pistol up. Slinking out the doors, he ran to an alley, and waited for the next contingent to fall prey to him.
Nanaki watched the bomb bay doors open slowly. "We can't land, can we?"
"Not a good idea. They've got enough troops with guns to give this crate twice its weight in metal." DK replied.
"Well then, I guess that answers that." Nanaki looked back, then jumped out of the drop ship. Flying was one thing, and many times he wasn't fond of it, but free falling was one fear he'd yet to overcome. The sensor on his parachute signaled, opening the pack and rapidly declining their rate of descent. Landing on top of one of the smaller skyscrapers, Nanaki looked down and nodded.
"Troops are all over. We'll have to be careful." DK landed next to him, unhooking the pack the parachute was expelled from.
"Stairs or elevator?"
"Float." Circles of energy radiated from Nanaki, hitting the ground. Raising his head high, he casted the spell, and waited for its effects. DK felt himself leave the ground, and rising up a few inches. The large cat/wolf-beast did the same. Maneuvering themselves over to the edge of the building, Nanaki looked down, seeing little else other then that of scurrying ants and occasional streaks of light. The chaos below could not be heard from the height they were at. Looking at the muscle bound warrior, the quadruped leapt off the building and floated, light as a feather, towards the ground. DK followed suit, trying his best to walk to the edge, but ended up making the leap three seconds after the beast.
"Nanaki I hope you know what your doing!" He yelled as he fell slowly, scared somewhat out of his wits.
Repike smiled as he watched the pitiful scores of drop ships take off from a centralized location in the Pacific Ocean and smiled. His lover, Red Mist, stood next to him, her hands trying in vein to hold his. He enjoyed her attempts at closeness, but he scoffed at the idiotic dance of it all. People were only to be used and thrown away. His organization served his needs, and little else. If he found they did not suit his need, Repike would simply destroy it all, and rebuild.
"Why not just raid the whole planet. On Selgis Prime you simply destroyed the atmosphere." Mist cooed in her seductive voice. Repike kept his attention forward, watching the view screen.
"Because I want them to squirm. Besides, Selgis Prime was little more then a test site for Project Stratus. This is more likely to be a small invasion. I want nothing more then to test the defenses of this planet." He replied. "Take a look my dear, they gathered at that point, and that is where I'm looking for. Besides, you always lead your pray on."
Gasper kept his eye on the radar as him and three other ships flew along the equator toward the Middle East. They'd made it to as far as the Ivory Coast when the red blips came. Four was the first to spot them.
"One, this is Four, there's like twelve blips going off on the scopes. You picking this up?"
"Yeah, they look like fun. Okay, break into pairs, keep with your wingmen-"
"And women." Three, Dani Baker, said with a titter.
Gasper shook his head. "And women, let's keep the chatter to a minimum. Two, you're with me. Three, Four, be careful. Let's break." A small, but heavily armed freighter and a large missile boat flew off, taking rear. Switching to his ship's intercom, he contacted his gunners. "Merc and Nic, need ya guys to get to the gunports, we're in for some trouble." Switching again, he went into One Flight Channel preset. "Two, you okay?"
"I'm able to keep up with you."
"I want you on ground support. They drop troops, you're our last line of defense, and I can't be doing too many strafing runs."
The speaker on the Dragoon's headset was filled with static when finally, the Maverick Hunter reported in. "I'll do my best Lead." The Canadian flew up to the side of the cockpit and saluted. Gasper nodded and continued his monitoring of the radar.
Alek Highwind's A-wing slowly drifted slightly behind ZealPropht's Flight of four ships as they hit the edge of Earth's atmosphere. His cockpit's canopy gave him more then 180° of view, which had saved him on numerous occasions in the Bentarri Sector. But then, I had a squadron of Shin-Ra behind me. Now, it's just me and 7 other people.
"You're thinking the same way I see, eh Nine?" ZealPropht said over the comm.
"You have flight experience Five?"
Zeal sighed, thinking back to only a month or two ago when she'd saved her friends from a flight of the knives. "Yeah. Though I caught them by surprise and they were better odds." Alek glanced at the group of red blips flying towards the Earth. The two flights formed up on each other, when Repike's various warships became the dominant backdrop to the screen of hostiles coming at them.
Coordinating the war effort from his office in the LOF Complex, Icy Brian looked over the various battle reports coming in from around the world. Turning his chair around, the back facing the door, he closed his eyes and sighed heavily. Exhaustion seeped into his bones, and with another sigh, he began a calming technique a friend of his had taught the young paladin. His mind was at peace for several minutes until he felt another presence in the room. One that was not wholly welcomed anywhere.
"You're in my chair."
"Funny, I believe it's customary to knock first? Or have manners escaped you also." Immediately, an ice spell capable of taking down a small behemoth came to his mind, but he pulled back on his intuition.
"Well, considering this is now my office, I don't really care what manners I present. Now, if you'd kindly remove yourself from MY chair, I'll give you s a semi-lenient death." With that, Paul Nathans laughed at how much fun taunting this man was.
Shaking his head, Icy turned his chair around to face Paul. "I'll give you one minute to leave before I decide to revoke all privileges that your life offers."
"Now I'm scared."
"You should be, after all the shit you've pulled, all the crap I've put up with, I might just let my internal security burn you down." Paul turned quickly and looked for the camera or defense system, giving Icy Brian just enough time to leap over the desk and use his staff to bat Nathans to the floor. Paul fell to the ground, but immediately rebounded back, and tried to hit Brian with a wayward punch. It failed though as the black staff blocked his arm.
"Put the staff down and die!" He immediately shot a high-level fire spell at the Paladin, causing him to lunge to the side. Immediately, Brian's staff came down on Paul's shoulder, crushing it. Within seconds though, a regeneration spell came into effect, healing the assailant.
"So I assume you're working for The Flash. I'm glad you sold out Paul, it gives me an excuse to kill you like I've always wanted to." Holding his staff with one hand, his other pointed at Paul, and blasted him with a beam of ice. Paul blocked as best he could, and struck back as best he could. Icy dodged his attacks, and nailed him with the staff again, getting in a good shot to Nathans' knees. Knocking the assassin to his knees, Icy put the butt end of the staff up to Paul's neck, and released the small blade contained within the shaft.
"You shouldn't have done this Paul. I might have let you live. Now, I can't trust you. Get off the island now. I revoke any and all privileges I gave you. Be glad I'm this lenient. Now get the hell outtalk here." Icy retracted the blade, and went back to his desk. Paul slowly rose, laughing the whole time.
"You dullard! I am the all-powerful Paul Nathans! I give the orders here!" Paul started to give off a glow that manifested into a dark gold. Raising an eyebrow, Icy Brian watched as Paul transformed into a larger, muscular demon. "My power is unleashed! Quake with fear and tremble with cowardice!" the being shouted with glee. The creature's meaty fist opened to reveal a large ball of fire. Throwing it at the Paladin, he prepared another blast. Brian darted to the side, avoiding the flames, and watching his desk melt into slab and charred wood.
"Dammit Nathans! You'll pay for that one!" Ice formed to both outstretched hands, as the staff clattered on the floor. Suddenly, cold arctic winds began to blow and slowed the demon just enough for Icy to hit full on with a freezing spell. The annoyance was frozen in place, but cracks began to appear only seconds later. Lunging to his terminal, Icy inputted his command codes and locked it out from the mainframes in the building. Rays of light filled the room as Icy turned and brought up the obsidian colored staff. Nathan's burst out, his aura blazing red in fury.
"No one ever traps me like that and lives to tell about it!" Red orbs flew from his outstretched palms, and ricocheted of the walls of the office. Waiting for the right shot, Brian twirled around one blast, and caught on to the timing. Bringing his staff to bear, he swiftly brought his hands down to one end, and batted another energy ball straight at Nathans. Paul was laughing when the blast hit him and threw him through the main walls out into the conference room. Groggily he made his way to his feet, than pulled out a large blade. Wiping away some of the blood from his face, he smiled eagerly and charged forward with a yell. Brian raised his staff in a defensive posture, and was ready .
"Eight, this is Five back down, you're too damaged!"
"I can make it Lead- AHH!" Kovisky was no more then molten alloy now as his attacker flew through the brief explosion. Zeal smiled as her targeting brackets came over the enemy flier, and with a quick burst of laser fire, smoked another ship. Her comm. channel was hot with the small squadron's calls for help and praises of kills. Zeal juked suddenly as a pair of missiles to her left. The projectiles were fast approaching, Zeal speeding away as fast as she could in the small ship. At the last possible second she pulled up, and pushed the afterburner button, giving her a burst of speed. The missiles briefly followed the TIE before running out of fuel, exploding, and sending shockwaves and shrapnel into the vicinity. Checking her radar, she noted out of the eight that had come from Earth, five remained.
"Five, this is Nine, we're not doing anything to remotely dent them."
"That's a nicer way of putting it yes. Any ideas?" The Propht replied.
"We get the F*#% outta here and head for the stratosphere, making sure we take as many drop ships out as we can."
Zeal took a glance at the radar again, noting there were at least fifty-two small fighter craft along with two capital ships. "All ships, go planet side, take out as many- AH!" Zeal's cry was heard over the comm., and Alek Highwind was stunned as one of the larger capital ships caught the small TIE in a tractor beam.
"I'm comin' lead!'
"Don't! I'll find another way out, just take out those drops-" The communications cut off, Alek found he could do more then to follow orders.
"Gasper, if you hear this, stay down on the planet, that Capital ship is too big for ya to take out yourself."
" take out yourself." The channel came to life as Gasper brought his gunners into a firing solution. Gasper checked the scanners, tapping at the radar screen in front of him. Pushing down the call button to his Squad leaders, he yelled.
"Repeat that again Nine!"
"Five is POW, repeat, Five is POW. Don't rescue her Gasp, she's already been docked in that capital ship." Gasper put the ship on auto, and then typed in a few commands quickly. The yoke he used to guide the ship with was disconnected and quickly replaced by a joystick like object with several buttons. Pulling back on the throttle lever, he grabbed the stick and pulled it back. Mercutio yelled, along with Nicholai as both lost their targets.
"Gasper! What the hell are you doing?!" The Gunner yelled over the ships radio.
"Just watch for targets. Keep those fighters off my tails." Gasper flicked another switch. "Nine, this is Lead, I'm going after her."
"You're an idiot if you do-"
The Dragoon growled back. "I don't care, take out those drop ships, but I need Ragnarok for this to work."
"No problem Lead, I'm on my way over." Came the call from Ten, NeoKefka. Out of the corner of his eye he caught a flash of red and just as suddenly, the dragon-ship was off to his right.
"Don't do it Gasper! She's caught, and those shields will hold under anything that you two could throw at it. Five is a fighter, she'll get back just fine. But we have more to worry about right now. Base came in with a message, sending it now!" The rage against his co-commander right now was high, but the message was worse then he expected.
"All turrets open fire now!" Minmei slammed her hand down on a button, activating the islands defense perimeter. Kaeru just watched the malice her facial expressions conveyed.
"Uh Minmei, are you sure you're okay?"
"Do I look okay?! Get me their landing coordinates now! I want them like yesterday!" Lynn's hands flew across the various control panels in front of her, pushing buttons and pulling sliders. Outside of the compound, turret's and gun batteries revealed themselves from their underground compartments. Watching the progress, she noticed the file sent from Kaeru's terminal, and gasped at the numbers.
JWolf pulled up his binoculars, scanning the horizon for anything, when he spotted the small fleet that was headed towards him. His team of five was supposedly the best guerilla fighters any of Earth's Defense agencies had. Not that he'd doubted their abilities, it was more that he wished his comrades in the LOF had been there to help
"Five to about a hundred fifty. Great odds."
A private from the Maverick Hunters asked. "What was that sir?"
"Nothing. Get back to your post. We've got company." Pulling out his comlink, he transmitted a signal, and instantly got the person he was looking for. "Minmei, how many ships?"
"Ten ships. Light armor plating, so they should snap like twigs."
"Turrets are up, think you can hit them all?"
"Can you clean up the leftovers?" Came the reply from the communications officer.
"Look who you're talking to. I'll call ya again when we're done."
"Ten Four." Wolf pulled up his binoculars again, and smiled. Putting them down, he pulled up a larger plasma cannon and called to his command.
"Cannons ready!" Three cannons and two Stinger Missile Launchers came up. The scope on his weapon beeped the ten troopships came into range. "AIM!" He yelled out again. One mile separated the two forces as the turbo-laser batteries came to life with deafening pounds. The flight dodged the blasts, and was less the half a mile when Wolf pulled the trigger. "FIRE!" A bright purple beam of plasma energy flew from the barrel of the weapon, scorching its intended target with energy. The ship's armor was flimsy at best as the beam melted its way through the ship and out the other end. Careening to the ground, JWolf disengaged the weapon and let the cannon recharge. Three others had hit their marks, bringing up a total of five ships destroyed. Grabbing his blaster carbine and the belt of power packs, he set the weapon to auto-fire. The remaining drop ships deployed their troops quickly before taking too much damage, but only three escaped. Wolf nodded as to how expendable these men were. The team of six stared at the soldiers left by Repike to take the island. The numbered at least a hundred in all, but by their armament, JWolf could see why they were so few in number.
"Spec Ops I'm betting." He said to himself. "Kill'em all troops!" and the small guerilla force charged.
The lights were bright on Broadway. No one would doubt that as the large orange quadruped known as Nanaki mauled his way through the ranks of shock troops sent in by an old friend. DK was far enough down the street now that an Ultima could be used, and to his knowledge, it would only affect his enemy, and not the sky touching structures around him. Underneath the big cat's feet, a green glow sprang up, and while most would say it's the sludge from the sewers, the shock troops smiled and laughed at the display. Nanaki took that as a sign, and powered the spell up enough that he'd get two shots before exhausting his magic supply. Green explosions startled the laughing soldiers, and their armor was disintegrating fast. Screams were heard as the green energy overwhelmed its first victim. Quickly, the force of Ultima decimated the squadron, and Nanaki howled in delight, the blood lust running through his veins.
"This is almost too easy." He ran quickly to the other end of 42nd Street, finding Ki blasts littering the area as DK dispatched another trooper. "Need help?" Turning, the large martial artist shook his head, then kicked a soldier into a building, sending him through concrete and into a music store. The man flew back out, this time, blaster burns all over his body armor. The two warriors turned to face the assailant, finding only a young man with metallic upper body armor, a large blaster pistol in one hand, and an energy shield in the other.
"You must be the reinforcements! 'bout time the sent someone."
"Have you been fighting alone for long?" DK replied to the stranger, who nodded a yes. Nanaki sniffed the air around the newcomer, then lunged as yet another trooper tried to surprise them. His large maw was ripping at the man's throat, tearing it out. Blood dripping from his fangs, he rifled through the man's belongings finding a communications device among the corpse's last known possessions. Grabbing it lightly in his mouth, he brought it over to DK, who took it and checked the transmitter out.
"I've seen a couple of those, but they were all broken or encoded." DK had a grin on his face as he brought the volume up, hearing clear speech.
"Seems this one ain't. Good call Nanaki."
Bowing his head, then continuing to look up, Nanaki spoke. "At least we can now keep a trace of what's going on here, along with the total invasion. I'm still surprised at the ease of their attacks. You, uh what was your name?"
"Carl Dayspring, New World Colonists."
"How's your back up?" Nanaki replied, looking around for more trouble.
"Dead, I was on a mission when the base was destroyed. Our agencies contingency plans state that if HQ is destroyed, we walk away, and disavow any knowledge."
DK shuddered at the thought. "Dayspring, you knew O'Neil?"
"Dead, but yes. You must have been the DK he was talking about. The one in the IO."
"Yeah. It's sad to see him go."
"He fought till the end. Or so the records state." Nodding in agreement, DK looked again at the radio.
"Well, it's not encoded." He spoke softly, changing the subject. "We should get this back to the island."
"How exactly. Transport doesn't come back for another 2 hours, if that." Nanaki replied gruffly, then growled as he held his nose high in the air.
"Trouble?" Carl asked. The big cat's eyes roamed the street, finding nothing, until he looked in the air, and saw a shadow crossed the street above them and in between the buildings.
"No, but that scent is familiar to me."
He wondered if there was really a chance to save her. Mercutio was about to take command by Alek's orders when he finally snapped. Zeal would have to wait, as hard as it was for him to consider. He knew Repike, he knew his ways, and he was more concerned for her sanity and safety then anything. But Isla Agrua was under attack, and he was needed there. I'll save ya hon just hold on a bit longer.
"Get back to the gun ports." He called to his shipmates. Mercutio stared at him then tried to speak. He was cut off. "Don't question me, there are two drop ships below us, and were goin' there way. Do it, NOW!" The gunner ran off, and Gasper gave him five seconds before steadying the ship and pushing the stick forward, hard. The Storm dove towards the Earth now, in between the transports, and with enough time, destroyed them. Curving to a vertical angle, he righted the ship, and called in to his squadron.
"This is Lead, Nine, you're in charge, anything that's not Terran in origin, or isn't giving off our transponder codes is fair game. Ten, take out as many things in the upper atmosphere as you can. I'm sending Three and Four to you. Nine, good luck."
"Copy Lead, leave some for us when we join the party." Came a reply, followed by acknowledgements from the others. Pulling the thrust levers, he shunted power from the sub-light engines to the repulsorlifts, keeping the toxic emissions to a minimum in Earth's atmosphere.
"Guys, ever been to Broadway?" He said over the ships comm.
Icy Brian shot another spell from the dwindling reserves of Magic he'd occasionally use now and then. Shooting a hand to his forehead, he whipped the sweat off his brow the exertion that the demonic being Nathan's was putting him through.
"Another pitiful attempt? Honestly Bri-bri, you're getting too old and feeble."
"Save that comment for Gasper!" The ebony staff smacked Nathan's jaw, sending the creature's head flying to the side. Snarling, the demon smiled as it reset its jaw, than sucked in as much air as it could. Unleashing a roar, hellfire streamed out its mouth at the leader of the LOF. Rolling to the side, Icy came back up quickly, and literally flew at Nathan's with a flying sidekick. Connecting, he flipped up and around, landing behind the demon.
"You dare attempt that against me!" Paul, or the being that possessed his body, snarled in anger. Turning, it saw in an instant the end of Icy's pole-arm unleash a deadly blade. Stabbing it forward, it connected with the creature's chest, and stuck there. Whispering a few arcane words, Brian dashed to the side, and watched as staff impaled itself further in, then with a blast of energy, fly out and back into his hands. The beast shrank into the small being that once and now was Paul Nathans. The gaping wound in his chest dripped blood, but slowly, the organs regenerated. The Golden Paladin would remember the tortured look of pain the turncoat expressed.
"Get outta my sight." He rasped. "You're not worth it anymore." Pulling away, the older man shook his head and walked away. Paul fell to his knees, holding the healing wound and shook his head in disbelief.
"How I was told I was invincible. I should be the ruler of the LOF, I should be the ruler of the world! WHY!" He cried out in anger, rallying the last of his strength and with a burst of speed, lunged at the paladin. Brian turned, and with the last of his magic stores, let out a burst of ice that froze Paul instantly. He didn't let up, and quickly, Nathans was frozen solid. Taking his staff, he shifted his grip to that of a golf club, and smiled. Raising it high, he swung it forward and low to the ground, and instantaneously shattered the frozen form of his enemy, sending chunks of the traitor across the room. With a nod, he turned, looking back once with a single word on his tongue.
JWolf slashed at the trooper again, leaving a large gash in its armor. The broadsword was stained already with blood as the berserker ran it through the being. With a violent kick to dislodge it from the blade, he saw a glint in the horizon, and figured either reinforcements or invaders were on the way. Grabbing a quick look from his binoculars before they were shot to pieces in his hand, he noticed the configuration of the ship was meant for personal transport. His army of five was down 2 men and a woman, and with over half the invasion force alive, his spirits rose. Watching the ship fly by, he saw a figure jump out, and the transport dove into one of the larger turbo-laser cannon. The pilot landed a few feet from Wolf, and with a quick pull, his weapon was in his hand.
"I seek an honorable battle."
"Ask me if I care." JWolf dove in.
"Heads up!" DK yelled, ducking as a whirring noise came from above, swooping down at the three warriors. The assailant was on what looked like a hovering surfboard, and from the looks of it, one that was very maneuverable. Carl brought up his pistol, and pulled the trigger, firing shots at the surfer. Cover fire provided, the three ran as the attacker set up its next attack run.
"Friend of yours!" Dayspring yelled at them. Nanaki shook his head, ruffling his mane.
"I think so. DK, whatever you do, don't let off a deadly spell! He's a mimic!"
"THE SPY! HE'S ATTACKING US!" The broad man shouted back as he threw out a low level Ki blast into an adjacent skyscraper, raining some rock down the Spy.
Sighing, Nanaki ran out and jumped on a canopy, balancing himself on the iron skeleton under the thick canvas. "Distract him as much as you can on his next pass!" Carl bobbed his head, and waited, then jumped out and fired at the Spy. It took a single bolt of energy to short the hover board, frying its repulsors. Nanaki leapt out, and took the mimic down to the ground. Both landed with a thud as they sprang up to confront each other.
"Hey Nanaki, remember me?" Scoffing, the beast charged forward, only to be sidestepped as the Spy pulled out a katana. The Murasame flashed as Carl's bolts buzzed through the air. "I see you have a new friend. Allow me to introduce myself, I'm the Maverick Reploid known as MH-001, or as they like to call me, the Spy!" In a flash, MH-001 was in front of Carl, and attempting to slice through the energy shield the black man had put up. Slashing again and again, the shield quickly lost energy, when the Spy was knocked head long into a newsstand. DK's beam dissipated as he quickly took cover with Carl.
"How much energy do you have left?"
Carl responded. "Not much. Ten shots."
"How good an aim are ya?" Nanaki said breathlessly as he came bounding over to the hiding place. Carl smiled, and glanced at the energy meter.
"I can't take out that sword. It's probably a neo-titanium alloy. But, if I can knock it out of his hands. He doesn't have the Force or anything, does he?"
"Damned if I know. That pansy always has a trick up his sleeve." Said DK, looking over the barricade for any signs of trouble. A beam that nearly took off his head answered the question. "Told you."
"I SEE YOU!" The three jumped out from their shelter as a large crimson beam smashed it to pieces. "COME ON NANAKI! FIGHT LIKE A MAN!"
"Never!" The beast replied, his limits broken. "This invasion is full of death! I won't take it anymore!" A shimmering light came from within his soul, and something unexpected happened. His body was engulfed with energy, transforming his cellular structure. Taken back, the trio of onlookers watched as the full fury of Nanaki was unleashed. The ground shook, shifting the street and cracking it apart from the resulting tremors. Dust rose from the pavement, and when it settled, the orange beast was no more. In his place was a quadruped with the look of a feral wolf and regal lion. His body was a mixture of circuitry and flesh. His eyes gave off a bright yellow shine, and his tail was a brilliant flame of Ki energy from his soul.
"Enough Spy, your war with me will end today." A small pinpoint of light formed in Nanaki's maw. The yellow point grew into a ball, and was unleashed in an unworldly roar. It shot out at the speed of light, instantly creating a hole through the Spy's torso. It spread, as the energy steadily engulfed the reploid's body. Reaching his upper chest, it died down, and the bisected mimic fell to the ground as two legs, two arms, and an upper body. His circuits melted, the Spy's neck twitched spastically, twisting his head back and forth. Inorganic sounds emanated from his vocal processors, then stopped, covering roughly a three-foot radius with electricity and exploding fuels. Nanaki slumped, and the light again came from within, morphing him back into his completely organic state. DK and Carl ran to the large feline and checked for wounds.
"Don't ask, I don't even know." Came a whispered reply of exhaustion.
"I've seen some strange shit in my life but this this whoa!" Carl said.
"Comes with the territory. DK, we are needed at home. Repike is attacking the Complex, and it's not as heavily defended as we hoped." DK nodded, when he heard a small roar, this time not from Nanaki. Looking up, Carl knew their transport to base was here. Gripping DK's shoulder, he grinned and looked at the weary man's face.
"It's been good workin' with you guys, hope we can do it again sometime."
Holding out his hand, the bear of a man offered a shake, gladly accepted from the gunslinger. "Enjoyed it. Again, I'm sorry about O'Neil. He was a good man."
"Aye, I'll agree with ya on that. Stay in touch, got it? I might need some help later on." Fighter Jets rumbled the towers of New York as they flew overhead.
"Nanaki, can you run?"
"I think so." The two helped as much as they could, and the beast began a trot towards the Stormrunner, the ship that had just landed in the middle of Times Square. Nicholai and Mercutio ran down the ramp with a stretcher, and hefted the wounded warrior. As they sped back up the ramp, DK waved a good bye to Carl Dayspring. Carl returned with a quick salute, and watched as the ramp rose, locked, and the ship lifted off towards and flew west.
Mercutio patched an IV into the beasts arm as DK ran threw the corridors to the bridge. Gasper signaled for him to take a seat in the co-pilots chair. Sitting, he grabbed the flight yoke and checked the gauges, then switched steering control over to his station. With a sigh, the Dragoon slumped down, taking a deep breath in the process.
"Enough that I need a hard drink when this is done."
"I doubt we'll get to it, but it's on me when we're done today."
"Deal." Rising, Gasper stretched his arms, giving off a few pops and a couple groans. Noting the melancholy mood, DK reported in.
"The Spy is dead."
Arching an eyebrow, and checking the engine meters, the pilot arched an eyebrow. "Really?! Whom do I owe a drink to?"
"Nanaki of course. But here's what got me. He morphed and did it."
"HUH?!" Came a reply. DK craned his neck around the chair, and chuckled.
"Kid you not, he just went and did some kinda transformation, pretty cool really." A beeping was heard, and Gasper checked the communications board. It was Alek Highwind.
"How's it goin' Nine?"
"Better then expected. Scopes show no drop ships on the board."
"Any sign of Five's TIE?"
"None they've got her Lead. I'm I'm sorry." Another sigh from the Dragoon as he fought back the emotional baggage and guilt.
"It's not your fault. Keep me posted, and send a message out to the Plutonian Ship Yards. Tell them that Repike's back-"
Alek cut in with a small crackle. "It's gone. Either it's in radio silence, captured, or obliterated."
"Shit." Lead said to himself. "Get everyone out of here. Anyone with a hyperdrive needs to be evac'd."
"Yes sir. I'll try and get as many transports past. Good Luck Lead, I'll catch up with you sometime."
"You too Nine. Good luck." Switching it off, he banged his fist against an unoccupied piece of the hull.
"They got her?" DK said slowly, probing carefully. His friend turned and took control of the ship again.
"LorenLeah needs some help back there DK, if you could?" There was silence for a second, then a shuffle of clothing. The martial-artist got up and walked towards the door. Turning, he offered some words.
"No prob Gasp. Let me know where I'm needed." His war buddy gone, a tear fell from his cheek as the ship pressed on towards home.
To Be Continued .
Chapter and Author Notes: Damn, I need to get off my rear more sometimes. Really, this thing could have been written a while back, but it wasn't. First off, thank you to the test readers ZealPropht and JWolf. These two gave me a ton of input, and kept me going. Other thanks to the Authors like you who contributed characters: DK, Alek Highwind, NeoKefka, Black, and the LOF. If I forgot anyone, I'm sorry. With this chapter, I'm releasing the Dramatis Personae. More of a cast list really. In any case That's about all. Thanks for visiting and come again.
Gasper S. Keltner's Fanfiction